and I have been hosting Sofie, my sister-in-law's new kitten, since Monday night. I figure she is about eight months old, from what I know of her history.
When my sister-in-law first let her out of the cat carrier, she quickly darted through the house and behind the futon in my room. So we set up my room as Sofie's guest quarters, with her litter box near the door, and a box holding her food and water dishes farther inside.
I kept the door to my room closed for the first night, most of which Sofie spent behind the futon, not eating or drinking. Because Sugar is now far too large to fit under or behind the futon (that hasn't always been the case, of course), I let her in the room to roam around a few times while I was present (I made sure Sugar was outside the room with the door closed when I left it.) Sugar seemed curious about Sofie, but not hostile or otherwise terribly concerned, though I had to keep her from eating Sofie's food.
I finally lured Sofie out by rattling a toy underneath the futon. (I did that when Sugar was on the other side of the closed door to the room, naturally.) She was willing enough to explore the room freely when the door was closed, and ate ravenously (then threw up because she had eaten too much too fast).
At that point, I recalled that I still had the gate we bought when we were trying to adopt Princess. It's been useful to let the cats see each other without contact. It probably wouldn't keep Sofie *in* the room, though it keeps Sugar out (except when we haven't placed it properly and she knocks it over).
Over the next few days, we developed a routine for dealing with the two cats. The gate stays up while we're not in the room, with Sofie in the room and Sugar outside it, and we make sure Sofie is in my room and Sugar is outside my room if we leave the house. While one of us is in the room, the gate stays down and the door to my room stays open, so that Sofie can explore the house if she likes and the two cats can get close to each other under controlled conditions, if they wish. They have been in the same room (not always my bedroom) together a number of times now, and nothing has happened except occasional hissing from one or the other of them. Sugar seems to have gotten used to the idea of having Sofie around, and even attempts to approach her in a friendly manner from time to time, but Sofie is clearly still intimidated by her, and hisses or bolts if Sugar gets too close, and she dashes back to my room if anything startles her.
On the other hand, Sofie has been very friendly and playful with esrblog
and me, leaping onto our laps or calling out for some affection and play. She has not been at all destructive or messy. Well, she does prefer to paw kibble out of her bowl to eat them, but since we have her bowl inside a box that isn't a very big deal. :-)
She acts more than a bit like Sugar did at her age, except Sugar was always an extrovert, and Sofie isn't, really.
I will miss Sofie when my sister-in-law comes for her on Monday, but crawling around on the floor so much has reminded me of how badly the house needs vacuuming, and it will be good to get that done.